The past few days I was lucky enough to spend some time at Long Beach Island in New Jersey. I’ve never been there before, but it was a typical tourist beach city. Although, it is almost of the end of September, so most of the places were shut down. Regardless, it was okay with us. We wanted to keep things very low key as I had a lot of school work to finish up and the Husband had plenty of comic book reading to catch up on.
It was fairly cold so sitting at the beach was not really an option. We spent most of our time hanging out at the because house someone, whom I work with, graciously lent us.
Anyway, between work and school I have been incredibly stressed lately. I’m not sleeping very well either. So, my time away was to help me decompress. Here are a few of my secrets that help me stress quickly.
1.) Stretch *almost* every single night before bed I stretch. My muscle get so tense from sitting at the desk all day long and then going home to sit in front of the computer a few days at night. Even if you just dedicate 10 minutes a night right before bed, you will notice a huge difference. It is important as we get older to maintain some flexibility. I’m definitely not a Yogi and will probably never do a head stand (although I wish I could). Here is a link to my stretching pin board. Pick a few simple ones and just try it out for a week. Let me know how you feel!
2.) DRINK WATER. As a kid I lived on soda and that Lipton ice tea powder crap growing up. There are so many benefits to drinking water but a few of the most important are: it flushes out toxins, keeps muscle and joint pain minimal as it helps keeps them lubricated, and it helps improve skin complexion. I try to drink at least 1 liter of water a day at work because I have a limitless water cooler and am free to go to the bathroom when I choose.
3.) Snack all day long! Let me rephrase this… snack on healthy foods all day long. Fruits, carrot sticks, un-salted almonds, low-fat yogurt, are some great ones.
4.) Exercise. I get it. You just worked 8+hours and you are completely exhausted, but will a 20 minute walk kill you? I had a gym membership for years and while I enjoyed going, most of the time just getting into the building was my problem. It was too cold or snowing or nice etc, etc. Going to the gym after work took at least an hour out of my time and with my current situation, I do not have an extra hour to spare. We invested in a decent elliptical that we keep in our basement. It still takes a lot of will power, but just being able to go downstairs without having to drive anywhere to work out is so much more convenient. There are so many incredible exercise videos on YouTube as well if you do not have an equipment at home.
5.) Meal Prep. Duh. I am so sick of seeing this meal prep garbage all over the internet, but I have to admit, it really is the right way to do things. Sundays I usually go shopping and plan a menu for the week that I *try* to follow. We cut up all of our veggies and fruits so that way we are prepared for the week. I like to soak my veggies and fruits in a mixture of water and a splash of vinegar. After a few minutes I thoroughly rinse off my produce in a colander. I set them out to dry on this veggie drying mat and pack them into Tupperware and keep in the fridge. There are many nights I don’t feel like cooking even though I’ve prepped so we will get take out. It really isn’t a big deal!
6.) Decompress. Yes, it is easier said then done, but so important. I get up for work around 6:30 am, I am a very light sleeper and have difficulty staying asleep so my bed time may be a little earlier then most. Around 9pm I retire to my bedroom. Usually I’ll do a few stretches before bed as it helps relax my muscles. To take my mind off of things I like to read a book, a magazine, or draw. This way my mind isn’t focused on my daily “to do” list.
I put together a small collage of a few things that I believe are essential to my relaxation routine. Click the image to be taken directly to Polyvore to view where you can buy these tools. Also, check out target and your local Barnes and Nobles. They sell self massage tools there that are really reasonably priced!